Research finds Bank Worker Productivity Linked to Resilience


A recent study has found that bank workers in the top 25% of resilience and psychological health, were on average 30% more productive than the bottom 25%.

Whilst the results weren’t surprising, it has reinforced the case for employers to place a high priority on resilience programs and monitoring results on a regular basis.

The UK study undertaken by the Bank Workers Charity and Robertson Cooper, an employee engagement, well-being and resilience consultancy, interviewed 1300 bank employees to assess their general psychological wellbeing and productivity.

The main findings include:

1. High resilience = high productivity

As highlighted above, there was a positive correlation between resilience levels and productivity.

Barriers to resilience and psychological wellbeing include:

  • Perceived lack of control within their roles
  • Lack of time
  • Lack of involvement in decision making


Banks should seek to understand how their work environment is interacting with management style to drive wellbeing and productivity outcomes. Areas recommended for review are resources and communication, control, balanced workload, job security and change, work relationships, and job conditions.

2. High personal purpose = high engagement and resilience

When reviewing the difference between the most and least engaged workers, 40% of the variation can be attributable to an individual sense of purpose.

Barriers to personal purpose

  • Unclear what boss expects 
  • Lack of job enjoyment
  • Dull and repetitive work
  • Lack of support from others


There is a role to be played by the manager and the wider organisation in exploring how clarity of purpose can be provided to employees. Showing how individual effort links to the organisation’s purpose and values is essential. Banks have a great opportunity to connect their team’s contribution with an inspiring vision that yields tangible benefits to the community.

3. Banking workers have lower engagement and resilience than country average

These results reveal there is still work to be done to improve the current levels of engagement and resilience in banks.

The clear link this study shows between employee resilience and engagement with productivity, combined with other similar studies, presents a clear case that psychological wellbeing should be central to planning for programs related to large scale transformation and culture change.

Whist this is a UK study, it is my observation is that many of the issues highlighted relate equally to the Australian banking sector.

Graeme Cowan is an author, speaker, and workshop facilitator who shows leaders how to build their resilience, mood, and performance and create thriving tribes. To inquire if Graeme could assist your tribe please email Renee at

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